It appears Tuukka Rask's comeback attempt has come to an end.
The Athletic's Fluto Shinzawa reported Tuesday night that the Bruins are not expecting Rask to continue his comeback and that Rask could finalize his retirement decision in the next few days.
Rask has not played since Jan. 24, when he suffered a setback in his fourth start of the season. Rask had returned to game action on Jan. 13 after missing the first three months of the season due to offseason surgery on a torn labrum in his hip.
While his first start went well, Rask gave up five goals in two of his next three starts. During that Jan. 24 loss to Anaheim, Rask felt something that was not believed to be serious at the time.
It turned out to be worse than initially thought, though. Rask did not play or practice on the Bruins' ensuing road trip, nor when they returned home. He was not on the ice for the Bruins' first practice after the All-Star break on Monday, and coach Bruce Cassidy said he would remain out for at least the rest of the week. Cassidy acknowledged the possibility of Rask not returning at all.
“That’ll be his call, obviously,” Cassidy said Monday. “He’s the one kind of fighting through some -- I don’t know if it’s medical issues, or some body issues for his age, with the comeback. We’ll see how it turns out.”
With Rask's impending retirement now looking like reality, the Bruins will roll with the Linus Ullmark-Jeremy Swayman tandem they started the season with. Ullmark is 16-6-1 with a .913 save percentage, while Swayman entered Tuesday night's start against the Penguins with an 8-6-2 record and .916 save percentage.
If this really is the end for Rask, he will retire with 308 career wins, the most by a goalie in Bruins history. He won a Stanley Cup with Boston in 2011, when he backed up Tim Thomas during the playoff run, and was the team's starter during two more runs to the Cup Final in 2013 and 2019.